Engineering Dean Frank Doyle to Depart for Brown

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences leader to become provost to Brown

Frank Doyle
Frank DoylePhotograph by Eliza Grinnell/SEAS Communications

Frank Doyle, dean of engineeering and applied sciences since July 2015, will step down next June to become provost at Brown University. With his departure, Harvard’s new president, when appointed, will have the opportunity to influence the selection of three new school leaders, as the divinity and public-health deans have announced their plans to step down from those posts at the end of the academic year, too. (The engineering and applied sciences deanship is within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.)

The text of the news announcement follows.

Frank Doyle, Dean of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), today announced that he will step down at the end of the academic year to assume the role of Provost of Brown University. Doyle, who is also the John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, joined Harvard as SEAS Dean in July 2015.

Doyle has overseen a period of growth and expansion at SEAS and led a series of initiatives aimed at increasing the impact of the school’s teaching and research missions. During his tenure as Dean, the share of Harvard’s undergraduate students pursuing degrees in engineering and applied sciences disciplines increased from 18 percent to 23 percent and the size and breadth of the master’s and Ph.D. programs grew.

Among his signature accomplishments, Doyle established a comprehensive initiative to advance diversity, inclusion, and belonging; created a new office of industry partnerships and the Harvard Grid to support entrepreneurship among faculty, postdocs, and students; launched a novel collaborative master’s program in Design Engineering with the Graduate School of Design, a new master’s program in Data Science, a joint M.S./M.B.A program with Harvard Business School, and with the FAS Science Division a Ph.D. program in Quantum Science and Engineering; led the successful recruitment of 36 faculty members; and oversaw the design and completion of the Science and Engineering Complex in Allston, the most significant addition to Harvard’s campus in a generation. A prodigious fundraiser, he also helmed the school during a period that saw a dramatic rise in sponsored research support.

“SEAS has flourished and grown in innovative ways under Frank Doyle’s leadership,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow. “Since 2015, the School has advanced Harvard’s teaching and research mission, attracted more students into engineering and the applied sciences, and forged new and creative partnerships across the University. 

“Frank always saw the potential for SEAS to become ‘connective tissue’ within Harvard, identifying opportunities for collaboration that transcended academic boundaries. He looked across traditional disciplines to identify and explore novel intersections of teaching and discovery, including a program in design engineering with the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a joint M.S./M.B.A. with Harvard Business School. All of us at Harvard are grateful for Frank’s outstanding contributions to the University. We wish him all the best as he moves on to this next exciting chapter at Brown.” 

“Frank is an eager connector and collaborator, who has enthusiastically formed partnerships both within and beyond Harvard to advance the mission and open up new and promising opportunities for research and teaching at SEAS,” said Claudine Gay, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “I’m deeply grateful for his leadership, service, and most importantly to have been one of those partners.”

Doyle is an affiliated faculty member in the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a faculty member in the Systems Biology Ph.D. Program. In addition to his role as administrative leader, Doyle has maintained an active research lab at SEAS. His team has done pioneering work on an artificial pancreas to provide an improved quality of life for individuals living with type I diabetes. 

As Brown’s chief academic officer, Doyle will be second in seniority at the University, serve as an essential partner to the president, and work closely with senior deans, faculty, and other administrative colleagues. He will play a lead role in growing Brown’s research enterprise and enhancing academic excellence and innovation. Doyle will officially begin as Brown’s 14th provost on July 1, 2023.

Read more articles by John S. Rosenberg
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